Hi Karl, did you enjoy your gig at the Golden Backpack Awards last year?
I did! It was so good to get up and close with everybody, we had a terrific night.
The audience seemed to really love it.
Would you say your passion lies in music or acting?
Well, I combine the two, I don’t see them as different.
They’re both just forms of entertaining, really. I call myself a performer, rather than an actor or musician.
I love the fact that music is just the same as acting – it’s telling a story.
You’ve gotta be one of the longest running characters on TV, right?
I’m getting close, Lou Carpenter is just ahead of me but he is a bit more part time now, so if I wanted to get technical, I could probably argue that I am the longest running character.
Ever feel like you’re living a double life?
I do feel like it’s a double life because I spend so much time here and I’ve got a wife and a family on set, and then of course I go through the same thing at home. I live about a 45 minute drive from work so I find that during that drive I switch back into the real world.
Do you and Susan feel like a married couple?
We kind of behave like a married couple in that we finish each other’s sentences, we share a similar sense of humour and we have a great time together. At the end of the day, we just happen to have a very close friendship.
Why do Brits relate so much to the show?
Well, for a lot of people, Neighbours just about sums up Australia for them.
It’s living in a sunny place, with a nice big house and pools, everyone gets on fabulously and everyone knows each other, it’s kind of like the ideal world – although some bad things do happen.
There’s a lovely, lighthearted touch that a lot of other soaps don’t have. It’s not all doom and gloom.
Do you still do the backpacker nights?
Yep, that’s going well and we were thrilled that the backpacker night actually won the Golden Backpack Award the other night for ‘Best Backpacker Night in Victoria’.
My band’s been playing since 2004 at the night and I go virtually every Monday and still love doing it.
There’s obviously been a bit of a drop off in tourism, particularly in the backpacker market, but we still have a very loyal audience.
What has been your favourite story line over the years?
There’s so many. There’s the big stories, like with Sarah Beaumont – we had an affair for two years behind Susan’s back and she lost it severely with me.
That was a story that attributed to revitalising Neighbours in the 90s.
I also loved working with Natalie Bassingthwaighte who played Izzy – working with her was divine.
But one of my favourite’s was when Karl began stealing garden gnomes.
Um, I don’t recall that one…
Well Karl was going through a very heavy time at work, but away from work, all the garden gnomes were going missing and no one could work out why.
It turned out Karl was stealing them. I had to make up a complex story to justify it to myself.
So I said I was part of this group at Uni called the ‘Misnomers’. It was quite fun.
How long do you think you have left on Neighbours?
Well it comes down to what the producers want year on year. And also how long the public can hang in with Neighbours.
I know we have a long term commitment with the TV channels and I suspect the show could be around for quite some time.
And if they ask me to stay, then I will stay because I love it so much.
Will you have any input on how you go?
If they came to me and said they were gonna let go of the character, I would put my hand up to talk about it.
I think it would be kind of cool if Dr Karl got thrown out of the street by all of the people living there because they found out he never actually qualified as a medical practitioner.
Catch Dr Karl at the Official Neighbours night in Victoria (neighbourstour.com.au)